Is Othello a Tragic Hero?To what extent can Othello be thought about a’awful hero ‘? The extent of which Othello is an awful hero has actually been open to much dispute; the basis on which he is judged falls to Aristotle’s established view of the essential elements that distinguish whether a person is truly terrible. According to Aristotle, a terrible lead character is a nobleman or person from high status, who adds to his own demise and highlights a flaw or weak point in judgment. The awful protagonist must make a fall from a high state of being to a low state or death.
The terrible hero’s failure, said Aristotle, was brought upon by some error of judgement. Aristotle’s theory is not the final word on tragedy, nevertheless it can support in identifying the critical characteristics in Othello’s character and when they happen, with excellent accuracy. This terrible ‘flaw’ has in some cases been incorrectly translated in moral terms, and some critics have actually looked for some moral weakness in the tragic hero. For Othello, this has resulted in the commonplace assertion that his fall is due to the fact that he was too ignorant and trusting in his subordinate, Iago.
Although, metaphorically speaking he does fall from a fantastic height, it would be incorrect to suggest that because Othello pleases one of the Aristotelian requirements, it makes him a terrible hero. It is just when the six standard concepts are thought about, can a hero be justly regarded as ‘terrible’. Nobility can be specified as an individual who possesses exceptional qualities of mind and character and who is not suggest or petty. If you were to evaluate Othello’s character on the basis of this meaning then it would be unreasonable to recommend that his nobility can support his claim to be an awful hero.
To some, Othello does not have nobility and represents a variety of actions to justify this. His prestigious function as a General-to an extent-proves his nobility to the audience. For Othello to reside in a primarily white Venetian society, requires a specific quantity of bravery which in a sense partially satisfies the requirements needed to be thought about as honorable. Nevertheless, on the other hand, the last scene shows Othello to be among Shakespeare’s a lot of ignoble, unpleasant lead characters. The quote exposes Othello as being unworthy of his worthy title and credibility of being reliable and moral, both domestically and in profession as a soldier.
Striking a woman-even in the contemporary society- is attached with weak point and cowardice; so for Othello to publically embarrass and damage Desdemona, significantly decreases his argument of being an awful hero and makes him rather ignoble. Desdemona’s innocent recommendations to Cassio goad Othello until he snaps and strikes her. When she says she is “grateful” that Othello has actually been ordered to Venice which Cassio will be in charge of Cyprus, he can’t take any longer. The physical striking of Desdemona was not staged until the late 19th century by the star Tommaso Salvini.
The striking of Desdemona would have evoked strong feelings from a Jacobean audience. Unlike Othello, Lodovico is a real gentleman and his quote “This would not be thought in Venice!” stresses the monstrosity of Othello’s action. This specific scene disproves Bradley’s theory that Othello is “the most romantic figure amongst Shakespeare’s heroes”. Both Macbeth and Othello are popular Jacobean tragedies that William Shakespeare created with notable awful lead characters. The play Macbeth is an excellent work that carefully follows Aristotle’s standards.
Macbeth is a brave warrior in King Duncan’s Army who compromises his honour and ignores his ethical obligations in the achievement of power and position which inevitably leads to his tragic end. Macbeth’s demise starts when he murders King Duncan simply to satisfy his own ego and fantasy of becoming king. He commits the murder because of his deadly defect; extreme aspiration. By contrast, Othello’s failure is triggered by his jealousy; this makes him less of an awful hero in comparison to Macbeth, who falls from a high stature with worthy reasoning.
Opposing my individual view, A. R Bradley perceives Othello’s jealousy as being ‘credible’ because of the newness of his marriage and the insecurities troubling Othello. This is a justified point however it only contributes as proof to prove the case that Othello is not a terrible hero, he is merely weak. Throughout the period of the play, Othello’s relationships with essential characters are revealed. It is then that we end up being conscious of Othello’s relationship with Iago. From the balanced out, we find out that Iago is envious of Othello and sets out to ruin the life he has actually made for himself.
At the start of the play, Iago makes really clear to Roderigo the evident cause for his hatred of the general. His absence of promotion to lieutenant leads him to declare: “… be judge yourself, Whether I in any simply term am affin ‘d To like the Moor.” Since of this, it could be argued that Othello is too relying on of Iago and should have been more watchful; however, although the protagonist might hold a tendency towards jealousy, the ensign is profoundly plausible and shrewd and for that reason there was no justifiable reason to wonder about ‘worthy Iago ‘.
Iago is also a main source of situational and dramatic irony. His soliloquies work as a vector to inform the audience of his intents nevertheless his victims are unaware of his on-going control. We later discover Iago’s vexed feelings towards the relationship of Othello and Desdemona. He is able to amplify and damn the distinctions in between Desdemona and Othello, much to the extent that Othello himself has the mind-set that his marital relationship is a travesty. Iago has the ability to plant the seed of disgust in Brabantio by making the marriage appear ‘unnatural’ and monster like: “… n old black ram/ Is tupping your white ewe” (1. 1. 87-88)” The quote displays the subtle control and contortion by Iago that eventually makes him among Shakespeare’s utmost, greatest literary villains. Hazlitt declares that “Iago is an aesthete of evil” and lacks the motive to justify his actions. As a character, Iago is equivalent to a Machiavellian Jacobean bad guy. His selfish fascination with dissembling and controling other individuals, with the intent of destroying their character is definitive of a real Machiavel.
Comparable to a Machiavel, Iago does not act selflessly and virtuously, instead he is inspired by evil, pride and selfishness. Othello’s psychological degeneration gradually worsens to the point that his speech and personality no longer represents of the extremely regarded military man and a lover-husband that we fulfill at the beginning of the play. Then Othello has terrific self-confidence in his ability with language, a lot so that he can claim that he is “disrespectful” in speech, with the knowledge that no-one surrounding him will think this.
He then attracts and marvels the audience with a forty-line speech that effortlessly weaves words such as “hair-breadth” and “Anthropophagi” into blank verse lines. Nevertheless, in the moments when Iago’s adjustment is especially extreme, Othello’s language weakens into fragmented, hesitant, and incoherent syntax. Throughout Act III, scene iii, Othello speaks simply put, clipped exclamations and half-sentences such as “Ha!” and “Dost thou state so?” There is likewise noteworthy repetition, as in “Not a jot, not a jot” “O, monstrous, monstrous! “O, blood, blood, blood!” and “Damn her, salacious minx! O, damn her, damn her!” Such minutes, when Othello shifts from his common seemingly simple and easy verse to near inarticulateness, show the level to which Othello’s passion has actually broken down his self-discipline. In Act III, scene iii, he is still speaking in mainly coherent sentences or expressions; but this is no longer the case in Act IV, scene i. Othello’s last speeches are dignified, however they do not have purpose and he does not seem to have a full understanding of all that has taken place.
He uses the first speech to condemn himself and his dreadful deed; this is more than likely a reaction of anybody who has actually come to the realization that they have actually wrongfully eliminated a liked one. It might be argued that Othello does undoubtedly fall from a fantastic height in terms of his character and syntax, however it is rather absurd of Othello to lose control in such a way that he stoops to eavesdropping on discussion in order to satisfy the ideas in his mind and it is this obvious fragility makes him more of a target for Iago’s manipulation.
In conclusion, I believe that Othello does not merit the requirements of disaster. However his failures in satisfying the criteria are more considerable than his achievements. It would be wrong to recommend that Othello isn’t a tragic hero; he shattered all racial bias and preserved an honourable position in the army. However as the duplicitous Iago increases his pressure in adjustment, Othello falls apart into a character that is fairly unrecognisable from his former self.